Radio signals from distant stars point to hidden planets

This is the first time such signals have been picked up from outside our solar system. She said this discovery is an important step for radio astronomy press release, and could lead to the discovery of planets all over the universe.

“Radio telescopes create large images of the sky,” says Hope Rutgering, an astronomer at LOFAR and co-author of the study. You usually only see radio emissions from black holes. What you never see are stars with radio emissions. Unless the planets revolve around those stars. It was very difficult to find out until now.”

Planets around red dwarfs

In total, researchers found 19 of these stars called red dwarfs. The press release concluded optimistically that 4 of these stars are already known to have planets orbiting them, but Röttgering is more cautious: “At least one,” he says at Nieuws en Co.

Now radio radiation is something different than visible light. So the big question is: Will we ever see these planets? “I think in the end. We’re now using telescopes in Chile, and then we’re going to work with ELT, the very large telescope. That allows us to do very precise work. We hope to use this to see if there’s an atmosphere in time, and if there’s water.” or carbon dioxide.”

Ten more years of patience

Then what is the time frame? “Any kind of planet will take a few years. In seven to eight years, we will know if there is an atmosphere, and in about ten years what its composition is.” By then, we should also be able to deduce whether this atmosphere could harbor life.

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